NORTH EASTON, Mass. – At first glance, it was an insignificant moment late in a blowout win, a 7th goal headed home off a corner in a game in which the result had been decided before halftime.
It seemed insignificant until Oliver Ames coach Britt Sellmayer walked onto the field, stopped the game, and handed the game ball directly to Canton senior forward Lauren Berman. It was then that everyone realized the Bulldogs star had just reached the remarkable career milestone of 100 goals.
It was a classy move by the OA coach, in the midst of a game that would see his team (ranked #3 in the latest ESPN Boston poll) lose 7-0 to their rivals on their home turf at Muscato Field. For Berman, it was the culmination of a four-year varsity career that has established her as one of the best players in the Hockomock League. Canton coach Paul Turner walked over to thank Sellmayer for his gesture.
“It was nice to have 100 against them instead of a team that we don’t really care about as much,” said Berman after the game. “It was a good game. We played really well together.”
Turner was proud of his senior star on achieving that career milestone, “To be able to coach a player like that in a team like this it’s a privilege. Of course I didn’t go up to the coach before, but I was going to go up after the game had she scored it, I didn’t have to - very, very classy from Britt.”
Another senior captain, Brianna Duserick, followed up with a screaming free kick from 25 yards out (one of two free kick goals she would have on the day) to make it 3-0. The fourth was finished by McNally from another corner. Then just before halftime Lennon fed Berman on the break for a cool left foot finish.
This was an important win for Canton (3-1-1) to bounce back after a loss and a tie in its last two games.
“This is a big win for us,” noted Turner. “Everyone expected us to be brilliant and, you know what, we lost a lot of key parts from last season, but we’re still getting better. I hope this win really kick starts our season.”
Oliver Ames (4-1) had several chances to get on the board themselves, including a shot by Clarissa Romero seconds into the second half that caromed off the post, but never really got into the game. Star midfielder Kendall Andrew struggled to get on the ball and, when she did have the ball, struggled to find teammates in attacking positions. A bright spot in the second half was the play of backup keeper Nora MacLaine who made a series of solid saves.
It is a difficult defeat for Sellmayer and the Tigers, but the confidence is still there that things can be turned around quickly, “I’ve got two young goalies and they’re stepping up but they’re learning. You know, that’s how you learn. You’ve got to take your lumps. We’ll look at the film- it’s not something that can’t be fixed. “
While the story going forward will be Canton picking up a big victory over a conference rival, for a few moments at least the spotlight was on Berman. As the forward nodded home her 10th goal of the season and wheeled away to be mobbed by her teammates even, the Tigers’ bench had to marvel at her scoring touch.
Oliver Ames will try to get back on track this Saturday when they travel to Arlington. Lauren Berman will look for goal number 101 on Monday on the road against an on form Sharon side.